23 February 2013

Oscar Night America: Come and Gone!

NOTE:  The 85th Annual Academy Awards has come and gone.  I made some revisions to reflect what transpired on Oscar Telecast 85 as the events unfolded on TV.  This blog entry was originally written on Saturday, 23 February 2013, the day before the Academy Awards.

It's that time of year again!  The grandaddy of all awards shows on TV, the Academy Awards (a/k/a The Oscars), is just around the corner!  The fun starts on Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 7 PM ET (4 PM PT for our Los Angeles/San Diego friends) with the Oscar pre-show and the excitement begins with the actual Oscar telecast starting at 8:30 ET, just like getting on the on ramp onto Interstate 275 in the Tampa Bay region.  You can find all the Oscar excitement as close as your ABC affiliate; here in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area that would be ABC Action News, WFTS-TV on Channels 11 and 1011 for us Tampa/St. Petersburg residents who are connected to Bright House Networks and over the air Channel 28 for the traditional over the air folks.

For the past two years, I put together a step by step diagram of the technical aspects of the Oscar telecast, especially the electronic route the voice over announcer from the microphone in the announcer's booth over at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to my HDTV set here in St. Petersburg.  Here's a pictorial diagram that I drew up last year you can view, both in PNG image format and in PDF.  After all, an Oscar telecast announcer's voice travels at least 44,000 miles thanks to all that satellite uplinking and downlinking between Hollywood and Tampa, not to mention a ride on Interstate 275 from the Bright House Tampa headend to the Bright House St. Petersburg headend on a utility duct.

Now if the Oscar telecast is being shown internationally (and the Oscar telecast is shown to plenty of countries around the world, indeed) ABC's finished Oscar feed for distribution to ABC's affiliates is also uplinked to various international satellites for distribution on a country's television network.  Whether the telecast is shown live or on a tape delay basis is up to the international broadcasters themselves; what usually drives this decision is what time it would be locally when the Oscar telecast is on and the language translation.  For instance, when 8:30 PM ET Sunday night rolls around and the Oscar telecast announcer intones, "Live from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood!  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the 85th Annual Academy Awards!", it would be 2:30 AM Monday morning in Ljubljana, Slovenia - who would be staying up into the wee hours of the morning to catch the Oscar telecast?  For that reason, most international broadcasters will probably carry the Oscars live and then replay the Oscars at some much better and more convenient time for viewers.

Speaking of Oscar No. 85's telecast announcer, if you think Tom Kane is doing the announcing duties, you are wrong.  The Oscar telecast has another new voiceover announcer on the block, and that happens to be Cedering Fox, according to this Kansas City Star article I recently found.  Cedering's claim to fame, as reported in the article, was having the voiceover announcer duties for the 2008 Democratic National Convention - the same convention that gave Barack Obama the Democratic Party's nomination and ultimately the office of President of the United States.

Being given the task of being the announcer for an Oscar telecast is a major achievement of which a voiceover announcer can be proud of.  In fact, being an Oscar telecast announcer is a voiceover announcer's Holy Grail.  Which leads me to think:  Would one of our own voiceover announcers at Tampa's major network affiliates become a future Oscar telecast announcer someday?

As for Tom Kane, I think he deserves a break after being the announcer for so many Oscar telecasts.  Besides, he did two consecutive Oscar telecasts, 83 and 84, with 84 being co-announced by Melissa Disney.  Besides, the producers of the Oscar telecast want a new look and feel to each telecast twofold:  First, so that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can get their maximum return on their investment, and second, try to beef up the ratings on ABC.

And according to the Kansas City Star article I mentioned earlier, Tom Kane mentioned that Cedering Fox will do a great job.  And I think Cedering will.

As for Cedering Fox, she is always welcome in my home on Oscar night on ABC, especially when she says this:  The 85th Annual Oscars will continue in a moment here on ABC.

Speaking of the Oscars, do you have your predictions on who's going to win Best Picture, the grandaddy of the Oscars?  Here are the nominees for Best Picture:

Argo (won Best Picture)
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Let's ask (unfortunately, none of the picks shown below won Best Picture):

Interstate 275's pick:  Lincoln
(Lincoln won for Best Actor in a Leading Role)

Draw Bridge Ahead's pick:  Zero Dark Thirty

Florida Merge's pick:  Life of Pi
(Life of Pi won for Best Director)

And if there was an Oscar category for Best Oscar Telecast Announcer, it would go to the announcer of the 85th Oscar Telecast, Cedering Fox.  When I was watching the last hour of the Oscar Telecast I noticed that the host of Oscar Telecast 85, Seth McFarlane, was stealing the announcing show in a few spots.  But all in all, Cedering did a great job - her announcing was clearly understandable and, like I mentioned earlier, Cedering was a great house guest in my home when I was watching the Oscar telecast on my HDTV connected to a digital cable box.

With that said, Oscar Night America - and Oscar Telecast 85 - is now in the history books, to be unburied again when Oscar Telecast 86 happens in 2014.  Perhaps who will be the telecast announcer for Oscar Telecast 86?  Tom Kane?  Who knows, but that decision is up to the Oscar telecast producers.

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